We all want to be happy. If we can truthfully say we are happy, then what else matters?
Helpfully, the National Australia Bank produces a quarterly report on the wellbeing of Australia. The survey includes questions along the following lines: “Were you happy yesterday?” “Were you anxious yesterday?” “Do you have a satisfied life?” “Do you have a worthwhile life?” It also identifies the issues that define or impact wellbeing (positively and negatively).
From this potpourri of demographic statistics provided by NAB, we can deduce how best we can position ourselves (in demographic terms) to make ourselves happy.
First of all, avoid being young and especially avoid being young and female. Women between the ages of 18 – 29 years old have the lowest wellbeing scores with men of that age group having the second lowest scores.
Young women appear to be too busy or under too much pressure to be happy as they report “lack of time” as the most negative factor affecting their wellbeing, more so than factors such as abuse, money and drugs.
Also avoid earning too much or becoming too educated as these detract from happiness. More households earning between $35k and $50k report they were “happy yesterday” that any other income group including those earning over $100k. Those educated to the level of diploma are happier than those with university degrees or people with lower levels of qualifications.
Weather, despite it’s frequency as a complaint in daily conversation, does not seem to impact happiness. In fact those living in the rainy, colder states (Tasmania and Victoria) are happier than their fellow citizens in sunnier, warmer states.
Choose your family, friends, house and suburb very carefully as these are the biggest factors in driving happiness as safety and community are rated very highly.
The single most important attribute to have to be happier is to be old as those over 50 are significantly happier than every other age group.
Older women (50+) are the happiest being 17 points happier on a 100 point scale than their 18 – 29 year old daughters and 5 points happier than men of 50+.
To hit all the factors for being happy it seems you have to be an old widow living in a capital city in a 2 person household with no children and earning between $35k and $50k from a professional job armed only with diploma.
Bliss is to be old and female. And once the old codger has departed, to be a widow is very heaven. Here is the survey that proves it.